Later, after I got back from my walk, I was looking for inspiration on my bookshelves and I came across this book. It's by Leon Hale, who is a famous columnist for the Houston Chronicle (and before that, the Houston Post), and the author of many books. He's known for his folksy Texan voice, and writes a lot about Texas, and I bought this book at a half-price bookstore -- a collection of some of the best of his Houston Post work. It was only after I paid for it that I realized it was an autographed copy.
And then for some reason, I never opened the book again.
But last night, I read a passage from it, and it made me happy, so I thought I'd share it with you today. It's a long one, but it's a good one.
"It's now a little past nine o'clock on Tuesday morning. By the time you read this stuff on Wednesday, whatever great and good thing is going to happen will have happened. Maybe it will have happened to you.
"I don't know what it's going to be but I know it's good. Maybe it will happen to us all. That would be the best. If it happens only to you, well, I just hope you have the grace to handle it, and I hope the same about myself. Because listen, this is bound to be a huge event, a magnificent happening.
"... I got into the early traffic on the way to the store. While I was stopped at a light a Jeep pulled up beside me, close, in the lane to my left, and this young woman was driving it. An old-fashioned kind of Jeep, entirely open, with no top at all. The young woman -- call her a girl; she was a girl to me -- was dressed up something grand, going to work in a polite office somewhere, I imagine. She had a scarf on her head to keep her hair from getting messed up as she went along in that open Jeep.
"The sight of that girl, so nicely dressed, and driving the Jeep -- well, I just wish it was painted into a picture, so I could put it on my wall. Because if you want to know the truth, that girl reminded me of my own daughter. She was about the right age, and was wearing a little pensive grin, waiting for the light to change, as if she was thinking about something nice.
"Before I knew I was doing it I had my head stuck out the window and was telling her hello, and I asked her what she thought about the day.
"She took that greeting just exactly right. She tossed her head back a little and sang me an answer. She said she thought it was a beautiful day, just perfect. So I tossed her my flower.
"The range was short and I made a good pitch. The flower landed on the seat beside her. She picked it up and smelled it and tucked the stem inside her scarf, so that the bloom was close to her ear.
"As the light changed, she turned my direction and switched on a smile that must have fogged film in the drugstore across the street. A smile so brilliant, it's a lucky thing it wasn't released at night, else every electric light within half a mile would have shut itself off in shame.
"I was slow pulling away from the intersection, but I didn't get honked at. I have a rearview-mirror image of the guy behind me, sitting there the same as I was, grinning, because he had seen the smile, too.
"What I'm trying to tell you is, things like this happen on extraordinary days, days that are superior, positive, and high quality. Great and good things happen on days like this.
"If you turn out to be the one that the great good thing happened to, be sure to let me know."